Veterans hope to go out in style at the final World Cup | World Cup 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

All is not well for Ronaldo at Manchester United after that His rebuke assessment of the club and its managerHowever, he had the opportunity to write his name in the history books of Portugal in Qatar over the next month. He won the European Championship and the Nations League and became the top scorer in men’s international football with 117 goals in 191 matches for Portugal, but he never played in a World Cup final. At 37, Ronaldo knows this is his last chance at World Cup glory, and he will be determined to come out on top. With his career at United likely over, and his legacy at Old Trafford fading, his focus is now on sacking Portugal to the first World Cup in their history, cementing his place among the best footballers of all time.

Lionel Messi, Argentina

Messi has already confirmed it He will retire from international football after the World Cup. He hopes to do so with his first World Cup winners’ medal around his neck. The 35-year-old picked up his first international trophy last year as he played a key role in helping Argentina reach the 2021 Copa America and so close to World Cup glory in 2014, WhoScored.com’s highest-paid player seeks to bow down. Outside the international game at the highest levels.

Will Lionel Messi add the World Cup to the Copa America he won last year?
Will Lionel Messi add the World Cup to the Copa America he won last year? Photo: Carl D’Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Olivier Giraud, France

France is blessed with incredibly talented actors in Giroud, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann but they are all nearing the end of their international careers. It is unlikely that Giroud, 36, will continue with the national team after the tournament ends in Qatar. The Milan striker doesn’t just chase world Cup Glory but a spot in the national team history books. Giroud is now just two goals short of matching Thierry Henry’s 51 goals at the top of France’s scoring charts, as he looks to play his part in helping the world champions retain their title.

Karim Benzema, France

Another experienced striker in the France squad, Benzema made his return to the national team for Euro 2020, earning his first call-up in over five years in the process. While France’s campaign in the Euros did not go according to plan as planned They were eliminated in the round of sixteen by SwitzerlandDidier Deschamps is hoping the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner still has enough goals in the tank to ensure France don’t go the way of the former champions and end up in the group stage. Injuries have limited Benzema to just seven league appearances for Real Madrid this season, but with five goals to his name, the 34-year-old’s lack of regular minutes in front of goal bodes well for Deschamps.

Sergio Busquets, Spain

Busquets remains one of the most influential players in the Spain squad, which he confirmed at last year’s Euro Championship. He missed the first two group matches, which Spain failed to win. When he returned to the team, they had reached the semi-finals, only losing to Italy on penalties. It remains to be seen if he still has the legs to play all three days, but he would be a useful option for Luis Enrique should Spain need to lock down the fixtures. With 139 caps, the Spain captain has seen it all, having already won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. Spain face Germany, Japan and Costa Rica in a test group, so he’ll need his expertise.

Manuel Neuer, Germany

Neuer has been Germany’s No. 1 since his debut in 2009 and there are no suggestions he will be relinquishing his place anytime soon. Given the longevity of goalkeepers, the 36-year-old can still have a lot of gas left. A World Cup winner in 2014, he would try to ward off the demons of 2018, when he was robbed of possession in the opposing half as Germany chased a late goal against South Korea, allowing Son Heung-min to score while Joachim Loew’s side crashed. out in the group stage.

Luis Suarez, Uruguay

In July, Suarez returned to former club Nacional, which he had left in 2006 to embark on what turned out to be a completely successful spell in Europe. In 14 league appearances, Suárez scored eight goals as he played a key role in securing Uruguay’s 49th Primera Division title, Nacional. The 35-year-old will leave the club after the World Cup and will be a hero. His country is now looking to him, veteran partner Edinson Cavani and 23-year-old Darwin Nunez as the men to help Uruguay live up to their billing as dark horses. He is already his country’s all-time leading scorer with 66 goals in 133 appearances; He hopes to add more in Qatar.

Luis Suarez won the league title in Uruguay with Nacional.
Luis Suarez won the league title in Uruguay with Nacional. PHOTOGRAPHY: Pablo Porciuncola/AFP/Getty Images

Jan Vertonghen, Belgium

Belgium’s golden generation is coming to an end with Vertonghen, at 35, the oldest member of the squad, beating Dries Mertens by a few days. Now back in Belgium with Anderlecht after his contract with Benfica was mutually terminated, Vertonghen hasn’t played as regularly as he would have wanted, making just six league appearances this season. However, he is Roberto Martinez’s vice-captain for Belgium behind the permanently injured Eden Hazard, so expect the former Tottenham defender to start in Martinez’s preferred three-man backline in Qatar.

Robert Lewandowski, Poland

Will Poland go far in the World Cup? With Lewandowski leading the charge, anything is possible. He scored goals for fun in the Bundesliga while at Bayern Munich and has continued in similar vein with Barcelona, ​​netting 18 goals in 19 games this season. Poland had not gone beyond the group stage of a World Cup since Mexico 1986, two years before Lewandowski was born. The 34-year-old will aim to repeat that performance in what is likely to be his last World Cup.

Luka Modric, Croatia

It seems that there is nothing stopping Modric. At 37, the Real Madrid midfielder still dominates his club’s matches, and will aim to do the same for Croatia this month. Modric won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 for his role in helping his country reach the final They were defeated 4-2 by France. He will win his 155th cap when he captains Croatia in their opening match against Morocco next week. If he can continue to prove that age is only a number, then who knows how far Croatia will go in Qatar, particularly with metropolitan Modric pulling the strings in mid-park.

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